Jose Mourinho has enjoyed greater achievements in his glittering managerial career, but Roma’s Europa Conference League triumph reduced him to tears after the ‘Special One’ delivered the Italian club their first major European trophy.
Europe’s third-tier club competition has been derided in some quarters, but for Mourinho the win over Feyenoord was every bit as important as his two Champions League triumphs with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.
Mourinho becomes the first manager to win all three major European competitions after making it five wins in five European finals.
“Football is about winning and Mourinho wins,” said former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves on BT Sport.
“He’s a serial winner and he has brought this Roma team to life.”
This was the 26th trophy of Mourinho’s managerial career – 19 years after he masterminded Porto’s Uefa Cup win in 2003.
He was announced as Roma boss last May and was tasked with building the club up after a disappointing seventh-place finish in Serie A in 2020-21.
“Mourinho said it wasn’t part of the plan [to win the trophy]. The plan was to build this team, it was the start of the project,” Joe Cole, who played under Mourinho at Chelsea, told BT Sport.
Roma’s run to the final was not all smooth, with the Portuguese coming under fire after an embarrassing 6-1 defeat by Bodo/Glimt in the group stage in October.
“The great thing about my career is that, aside from the Europa League with Manchester United, doing it with Porto, Inter and Roma is very, very, very special,” Mourinho said.
“It is one thing to win when everyone expects it, when you made the investments to win, but it’s quite another to win when something feels immortal, that feels truly special.
“This remains in the history of Roma, but also mine. I was told only I, Sir Alex [Ferguson] and Giovanni Trapattoni won trophies in three different decades. It makes me feel a little old, but it’s nice for my career.” A